We continue our journey east, towards the Gulf of Mexico. The first goal was Tuxpan, where we would meet Ze Paulo, our friend from work in Poland. Arrived to Tuxpan and driving along the promenade towards the campground, we were stopped by municipal police. We were about to be accused of driving a heavy truck where only light vehicles were allowed! We did explain that our vehicle was not a heavy truck but with no effect on the police officer, fully committed to redraw cash from, what he thought to be, a foreigner ATM on wheels! 5000 pesos, about 200 euro, was the amount that we had to pay. Of course we said that we did not carried that amount of money. The officer immediately proposed to be of assistance in that mater. Sergio just had to speak with his superior officer, waiting in the police car, and he would surly let us go with a payment of 2500 pesos. Not possible said Sergio, we just have 100 pesos. I can’t go and offer 100 pesos to your superior officer! It’s insulting. The man will probably shoot me. Take us to police station and we will see how the payment can be done. Jonathan, the name the police officer baptized himself when Sergio asked his name, warned us that there the fine would be of 12,000 pesos and probably they would keep our driving licence. Then he proposed us a bank transfer for his superior officer bank account. We kept this conversation with “Jonathan” for about one hour, sweating but kipping a cool head, till he finally gave up and let us go.
Dia dos Muertos we decided to spend in Vera Cruz. It is a very important holiday with 3000 years of tradition. It may seem ghostly, because it is full of skulls, skeletons and general references to death, but it’s nothing like that. It is a feast that commemorates family ties and the memory of your ancestors. The graves are cleaned, decorated with flowers (mainly velvets), and on top, like tables set for a meal, food and drink are laid.
In Vera Cruz, we spent a few days learning a little about the city and Mexico’s history. We visited the city museum and the incredibly modern Maritime Museum.
It turns out that in Vera Cruz you can hear polish, thanks to two charming sailors – Kacper and Oscar, on which we accidentally met in the main square. In the absence of a common photo, Marzena asked them to send their own. Ahoj guys!
And now straight on to the Yucatan peninsula, the Maya world.